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My family and I love the Bayside Toy Library. If you are looking for a toy library that ticks all the boxes, check it out; get it on your Christmas wish list as a gift for your family from the grandparents.
Toy rotation is an incredible benefit for families; it is the ultimate decluttering strategy, combined with reducing your environmental "footprint".
While geographical location is sure to be a key factor in your decision of which toy library to join, there are some other factors that differentiate Bayside Toy Library. Toy libraries vary from library to library; they may be located in the local scout hall or within the municipal library; some have 20 member families, others 250 or more; there may be a staff member employed, or a sole reliance on members doing roster duties.
Age Range: Bayside Toy Library strives to meet the needs of children up to age ten. While the options are less as the children get older, they have some high quality toys for older kids, including interesting games and interactive toys. Many toy libraries only strive to meet the needs of children up to the age of six.
Staff: Bayside Toy Library has a director that is trained in developmental learning for children; her advice on great toys for the specific ages and stages of my four children has been an invaluable aspect of my membership. I thought I knew what my kids would love, but I have tried many options that Erica recommended that were perfect picks.
Hours: Bayside Toy Library offers one evening open time in addition to three mornings; a toy library is only as good as the trading hours available to you.
Space: Bayside Toy Library has their own building, with items easily accessible and well-organised.
Support: The strong support of the Hampton Rotary Club, has provided grants, funds for the purchase of musical instruments, developmental toys, and community awareness of the value of the toy library to the Bayside area.
There is a one-time $20 joining fee, as well as a volunteer duty requirement. For each child you register, you can borrow three toys, for a three week loan period. Duty roster is equivalent to six hours per year, with various options for how to invest this time.
1 Child (3 toys): $70 2 or more children (3 toys per child): $100 Concession: 1 Child (3 toys): $35
Concession: 2 or more children (3 toys per child): $50
I love the grandparent membership option, offering three toys, eight times per year, with no joining fee or duty requirements, for only $30 per year.
To become a member of the Bayside Toy Library, visit the toy library during opening hours (see below). They will show you around, give you a preview of the toys, games, and equipment that are available, and provide you with registration forms. You can also print the form (PDF), and bring it along with you.
For small additional fees, members (and even non-members, for an increased additional fee) can hire party supplies and equipment such as bouncy castles, kids' tables and chairs, mini "roller coasters", climbing toys, and more.
Save your sanity, save your hard earned dollars, and increase your child's or children's creativity and interest in the toys they have around the house, by becoming a member of Bayside Toy Library.